The Commitments, New Wimbledon Theatre

by Zahid Fayyaz

Originally from the Roddy Doyle book, which was also adapted into a wonderful Neil Jordan film, this is the latest touring
version of the musical, The Commitments. Set in 1980’s Dublin, this is the story of a young band coming together to ‘bring soul’ to Ireland, before it all falls apart. Featuring a great soundtrack of soul songs, this has been around in some form in the UK for the last 10 years, and for good reason.

This newest touring version starts off with a band playing, with the cast singing “Proud Mary” in a style approximating a work night out. The plot then doesn’t hang around. It moves quickly, with the main protagonist Jimmy getting a band together right away. The story is a little old-fashioned unfortunately, and the constant reference to ‘riding’ feels particularly outdated. However, the performances are overall very good, with James Kileen as Jimmy and Ian Macintosh as the unreliable and angry lead singer Deco particularly standing out. The songs are easily the highlight of the show, with a propulsive energy and musicianship bringing the crowd to their feet at several points over the course of the evening. My own personal favourites are their version of “River Deep, Mountain High” and “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted”, but there isn’t much to chose between any of the songs in the score.

The show tours around the UK until July 2023. It’s certainly worth watching whilst it’s in London, or anywhere else in the country. It is certainly a good night out.

The Commitments runs through 14 January, then tours.

The Play’s the Thing UK is committed to covering fringe and progressive theatre in London and beyond. It is run entirely voluntarily and needs regular support to ensure its survival. For more information and to help The Play’s the Thing UK provide coverage of the theatre that needs reviews the most, visit its patreon


One thought on “The Commitments, New Wimbledon Theatre

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s